The roots of Chicago's violence

The government needs to do more than provide our communities with more police


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Marseil Jackson


Violence. What can we say about it? Every two seconds a person gets killed somewhere in the world — from new born babies to the elderly. Human life has become brutalized, victimized and terrorized. And Chicago is ground zero for this reality.

With so many news articles about the city's gun violence, it's disheartening to see how the government is not taking effective actions to stop it. According to news reports, nearly 50 people were shot one weekend this month, bringing the total number of shootings even higher and adding more blotches to the landscape of death and destruction.

Babies are discovered injured on street corners, pregnant mothers and grandmothers are seeking out for help, generations wiped out. There are too many baby showers and not enough weddings. There are too many inmates and not enough entrepreneurs.

Why is this?

There has to be a level of frustration among reasonable people. The deep causes of the problem aren't hard to contemplate. Judging from the deadly combination of illegal guns and gangs, anyone can deduce that quality education, economic empowerment and jobs are a real need here. There are too many guns and not enough opportunities. Schools are closing. People are losing their jobs. Teenage fatalities are increasing. Gang and interpersonal violence rules the city. The government needs to act now.

But that won't happen if we don't do what Dr. King advised in 1954. We need to rediscover lost values in our community. We need to understand that quality education is a right for everyone and that it is high time for the government to act on it.

The most recent shameful act was the killing of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, who lost his life to senseless gun violence earlier this month. He was shot down in an alley. The solution to this kind of killing is not just to increase the police presence in our neighborhoods.

The city needs to own up to the fact that it has created such a messed up environment that some of us can't park our cars and walk casually into our homes without thinking twice or looking over our shoulders. 

Society needs a deeper commitment. The government needs to take steps in the right direction and implement tougher gun laws. It needs to attack the root causes of senseless murders and eradicate the violence from the bottom-up. And when the government takes away the guns it needs to give them hope in exchange. 


Reader Comments

6 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Orlando Coombs from Hollywood  

Posted: May 23rd, 2016 8:18 AM

Forget government its the people who need to act. Parents need to parents again and control their children. The people need group economics, that's it. More police is not the answer. Tougher gun laws is not the answer. Bridges need to built between the cops and community. If there is no cooperation between the cops and the community then all the cops in the world will do nothing. Get the violent criminals off the streets permanently and let the building process begin.

Larry from Chicago  

Posted: November 19th, 2015 9:44 PM

And, if the government were to help, what would you ask for, another job training program?! Are the people employable? Most have lived on the fringes of society for so long, they are unable to communicate without being profane. The education needed goes far beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. The answer is Both: public policy (government) and, personal responsibility. It will require a comprehensive overall of the educational system in the community. The union works for teachers, not kids!

Larry from Chicago  

Posted: November 19th, 2015 9:30 PM

You make mention of "a level of frustration by reasonable people" as if no reasonable people exist. Maybe not. When reasonable people witness atrocities they do something about it, even if it's nothing more than calling the police. There are so many people in the community weakened by drugs, religion and a poor education, unable to fashion a simple solution for common situations. Lacking the ability to think, they get high or, they pray about it. Government has no cure for what ails the people.

Larry from Chicago  

Posted: November 19th, 2015 9:15 PM

Is there no place for personal responsibility? The government does have certain responsibilities however, what of the debt one owes himself? The violence perpetrated is not done by some phantom. No mention is made of the black hands that grip the cold steel of those many guns. Someone knows who is doing the shooting and killing; what responsibility will the witnesses and the bystanders own? The government you speak of is local. What will you demand of your alderman and committeeman?


Posted: November 19th, 2015 8:38 AM

Very well said. I'm glad you didn't put all the blame on the government. You're right Society does need a deeper commitment. Great Article Action Jackson!


Posted: November 18th, 2015 1:22 PM

This was a great article. I agree with you we need more opportunities!

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2018

To view the full print edition of the Austin Weekly News 2018 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Austin and Garfield Park.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad

Latest Comments